This manuscript is a masterpiece of Jewish book art by Aaron Wolf Herlingen, an artist born around 1700 in Gewitsch, Moravia, who worked in Pressburg (now Bratislava), Vienna, and perhaps elsewhere. About 40 manuscripts signed by him are extant today. This manuscript is ornamented with 60 painted illustrations and three word panels with decorated initials. The title page depicts Moses and Aaron on either side of the title. The area below the title shows the Israelites wandering through the desert and manna falling from heaven, alongside Moses, Aaron and their sister Miriam. Such a very unusual depiction of Miriam suggests that this Haggadah was produced for a woman of that name. At the end of the text there are two songs - one in Hebrew, the other in Aramaic - Echad mi-yodea and Had Gadya, with their respective Yiddish translations.
Online Since: 12/18/2014
This miniature book contains the Grace after Meals with the usual supplements for Hanukkah and Purim, as well as various blessings, such as the Shema prayer before retiring at night or for the enjoyment of certain things. The book has an illustrated title page, 19 individual illustrations, five decorated boxes containing individual letters or initial words and a decorated text passage. On the title page the artist did not record his name, but did note that the manuscript was created in Nikolsburg (Czechia) in 1725 during the reign of Emperor Charles VI. Like other Birkat ha-mason, this one, too, was written for a woman: a fly-leaf, added later, contains an elaborate ornament with a dedication to Fradche, wife of Moses Gundersheim. A comparison with the writing and illustrations in a similar work from 1728 in the Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen (Cod. Hebr. XXXII) shows that both Birkat ha-mason manuscripts were created by the same artist, namely Samuel ben Zewi Hirsch Drenitz, who was active in Nikolsburg.
Online Since: 12/20/2016
This miniature prayer book is the result of a unique collaboration of two of the most eminent Viennese representatives of 18th century Jewish book art. Aaron Wolf Herlingen wrote and illustrated the title page, Meschullam Simmel ben Moses from Polná created the other drawings and probably also wrote the prayer texts. Evidently this little book was a wedding present. The miniature prayer book contains a total of nine illustrations of the text as well as four richly decorated initial words. The prayer book belonged to the “respectable and wise maid Hindl”. The manuscript also contains entries regarding the birth of her children between 1719 and 1741.
Online Since: 12/20/2016